The World Bank has approved financing of US$ 150 million (Rs. 810 crore) for the second phase of the Karnataka Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (KRWSS) project to be implemented by the Karnataka Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (KRWSSA) in 11 districts of north Karnataka.
The KRWSS project, which is also called Jal Nirmal Project (JNP), is part of a long-term programme of the WB’s support to the Government’s efforts to increase access of rural communities to improved and sustainable drinking water and sanitation services. The credit would be utilised to cover habitations which were not covered in the first phase of the project, which was approved in 2001 and ended in March 2010.
Areas to be covered
The project would cover the rain-fed and arid districts of Bidar, Gulbarga, Raichur, Bijapur, Bagalkot, Koppal, Gadag, Haveri, Belguam, Dharwad and Uttara Kannada. The International Development Association (IDA), the soft arm of the bank, has granted credit at an interest of 0.75 per cent, which would be repaid in the next 50 years, including 14 years of moratorium. The amount would be utilised in the next three-year period (2010 to 2013), KRWSS officials said.
The Rs. 810 crore would help scale up the ongoing second KRWSS project to 1,650 villages, allowing an additional four million people to get access to efficient and reliable water supply.
The first phase of the project has already brought clean drinking water to about five million people, taking the number of households having water supply connections from 12 per cent to 47 per cent in the project villages.
In the first phase, the districts where it has been implemented has the basic minimum service level of drinking water (55 litres per capita day) to most of its rural population. Village people in the project areas have formed over 3,000 Village Water and Sanitation Committees (VWSCs) that are now running water supply schemes. The VWSCs have been given water quality testing kits to check drinking water quality regularly, the official said.
The additional finance will also help the Government focus on improving the quality of water supply.
The main objective of the project is to institutionalise the decentralisation of rural water supply and sanitation service delivery to gram panchayats (GPs) and user groups.
“GPs in the project area have been placed in the driver’s seat, and, together with the Village Water Supply and Sanitation Committees (VWSCs), have been empowered and enabled to make decisions, procure material, carry out construction and manage funds,” the bank said.
The bank team has expressed satisfaction with the progress in the last nine years. “The project’s sustainability has been strengthened by the Government’s decision to give grants for water supply scheme construction to gram panchayats,” said a World Bank report.
- World Bank – Karnataka RWSS II Additional Financing
- Karnataka Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Agency (KRWSSA)
Source: Nagesh Prabhu , The Hindu, 17 Jun 2010